New York City

Samothrace, Reverence to Stone

Blackened, sludgy doom, not unlike Unearthly Trance and/or Indian… with a bit more narrative/ song structural cohesion….

Reverence to Stone is the Black Herald, is what the burning bush sounded like, or The Horns of Jericho….

THIS: is God Come Down, Making Himself Known, in Fury and Disgust. Play it as loud as you can and tell me I’m wrong.

There’s two tracks: “When We Emerged,” and “A Horse of Our Own,” each quite long, each unspeakably detuned…. There is much feedback, much extended sounding of the lowest chord (and this one a fifth) on the guitar….

What if you actually got to hear the Music of the Spheres and it was unspeakably ugly to you? Does that mean you were messed up? Does that mean there was something wrong with you?

And what if it were still attractive in this ugliness…?

This is as close and perfect a marriage of doom and sludge metal as you’ll ever hear… with black metal officiating the ceremony via the vocals… there’s almost no tempo oftentimes, just a pulse to guide you through the auditory wreckage….

Chemical guide to listening©: this is stoner music, by way of general antidepressants (say, SSRIs or some such)….

“When We Emerged,” at 10 minutes, manages to sound like a doom metal version of Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings, Op. 11 (you’ve heard it)– in that it could be an auditory version of the composer’s wife’s orgasm (as was Barber’s, allegedly)….

At The Gates, live at The Fillmore, NYC, 2009

I know this is old news– re-united Swedish melodic death metal heroes At The Gates playing the Fillmore in NYC during their reunion tour– but, frankly, as many times as I watch this, I’m amazed, gratified, made euphoric, et cetera, by this footage.

This is the ideal of any art form, let alone metal: (probably) literally EVERY member of the crowd present knew EVERY Goddamn word of this song– I hate hyperbole, but I got goosebumps and felt the pure greatness of metal as an art form upon watching this (and this was years ago; its EPICness is so obvious as to beckon this post).

[Here’s another angle, too.]

Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis, with Shirley Scott– The Complete Cookbook Sessions

How does it compare to “modern” players…?

Dig that hard, obvious tone… the ugly, distinctly-metal mouthpieced tone… moves fast, goes where it wants, goes when it wants… not a “sensitive” (in the worst sense of the word) tone at all….

Even the flute is hard, dominant, bold… so seemingly different than “modern” jazz… Shirley Scott doesn’t give a shit, Lockjaw doesn’t… and hoo..!, what a considered cacophony they produce in that indifference…. (more…)

Jason Moran, Ten

Full disclosure: I normally hate any jazz released after about 1970; I’m a “moldy fig.”

“Jazz,” after this time, means to me extremely white, rhythmically-challenged band geeks who didn’t have the balls (once called “soul,” little did I know) to play music that rocked (once said to “swing,” little did I know).

Matthew Shipp and Trombone Shorty and Jason Moran, in their fashion, educate me.

I believed that, in the last 40 years–there’s no risk, there’s no fire— “jazz,” as it’s commonly known, is soulless, useless, elevator-music crap….  (more…)

Pharoah Sanders, Deaf Dumb Blind (Simmun Bukmun Umyun)

Well, here you go: this is the review. Now look at these cool pictures.

Deaf Dumb Blind was recorded at A&R Recording Studios, New York, New York, July 1, 1970.

Personnel: Pharoah Sanders (wooden flute, soprano saxophone, percussion); Gary Bartz (saxophone, alto saxophone, cowbells, percussion, bells); Woody Shaw (trumpet, percussion); Lonnie Liston Smith (piano, cowbells, percussion); Anthony Wiles (drums, congas, percussion); Clifford Jarvis (drums); Nat Bettis (percussion).

It’s two songs total– Let Us Go Into the House of the Lord and the title track. Unlike most 20-minute jazz tunes, either is worth your time and attention. There’s horns of every bore, there’s tambourines, God knows who is playing what: it’s a Whole People upward-groping their way to Give Thanks.

It’s Fucking Beautiful.